Lance Thomas Brooklyn bound?

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November 22, 2019 | 10:58 pm UTC Update
Mutumbo was the keynote speaker at the third annual Frank Callen Boys & Girls Club Hall of Fame Dinner on Thursday evening at the Savannah Civic Center. Arriving at the club in mid-afternoon, he took some time before the event to discuss his reasons for coming, the radically different NBA which has transformed in the 10 years since he retired and the importance of giving back to the game that changed his life over 30 years ago.
“The game has always changed from one time to the next. In the 1970s it started to become competitive I think and more physical,” he said. “Now — and I call (today’s players) Generation X — none of us who played when I played know. Nobody knows what’s going on in the NBA. I look at myself and wonder if this Dikembe Mutombo could’ve ever played in the NBA if it was like these guys play now. All the shots today just come from too far away. I don’t want to think about having to run to protect the rim and then to cover my man who might be all the way out past the 3-point line.”
November 22, 2019 | 10:50 pm UTC Update
During an appearance on the “Runnin’ Plays” podcast, Jim Barnett — who was drafted and played one season in Boston — shared a story about the time Bill Russell was given a key to the city just before a game the Celtics played in a Southern state. Following the game, the black players on the team were denied entry into a hotel because of the color of their skin. In response, Russell returned the key to the town’s mayor.
The climate of the time affected how Russell interacted with fans. “I remember one time, this businessman asked for an autograph,” Barnett said. “He said, ‘if I weren’t Bill Russell of the Boston Celtics, I’d be just another N-word to him.’ Barnett added that the NBA capped how many non-whites could be on an active roster. “There was a quota,” Barnett said. “You couldn’t have more than two or three blacks. I know that for a fact.”
November 22, 2019 | 10:17 pm UTC Update
Will an NBA team call Seattle home within the next five years? “I sure hope so. If there’s one thing that I could wish for our league structurally, I think it would be to get a team back to Seattle,” Warriors president Rick Welts told NBC Sports’ Tom Haberstroh on the “Habershow” podcast. “It’s obviously a really personal issue for me. I know what that team meant to that city — bringing the first professional championship to Seattle. It’s an amazing market. A lot of the future of the world is being envisioned there. It’s got a vibrant community that would really support an NBA team coming back.”
He, more than anybody, knows the NBA belongs in Seattle. “But the path is problematic,” he said. “The good news is the NBA’s business is really successful right now, and that means we have 30 teams operating without anyone feeling like they’re in a market where they can’t support NBA basketball. And the owners — I would say probably to their credit — have shown no interest. And the league hasn’t really promoted any expansion agenda. So how do you get a team there?”
Storyline: NBA Expansion
November 22, 2019 | 9:57 pm UTC Update
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